Cultural spending not a priority in Canada

MONTREAL — Canada’s entertainment biz reacted with little enthusiasm to the budget unveiled Monday afternoon by Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in the House of Commons in Ottawa.

Cultural spending was not a priority, which disappointed actors union the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists.

“The Canadian Television Fund has not received any increases since 1996,” said ACTRA national executive director Stephen Waddell. “The Conservative government is making it near impossible for creators to finance new productions so that Canadians can experience their own stories on our TV screens, over the Internet and on other new-media platforms.”

The fund has been at the center of much controversy in recent weeks because two media companies threatened to stop financing the private-sector/public-sector fund.

Canadian Heritage Minister Bev Oda said the government would support the fund for two more years but she did not raise the coin the government grants it.

The main focus of the budget was to give more money to the provinces and also provide some tax cuts.

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